Thursday, June 6, 2024

Normandy: The Only Woman To Land on D-Day

A repost from 2019.

We met Martha Gelhorn in May 25 2019's "The story of Ernest Hemingway’s $187,000 magazine expenses claim" where she appeared as Hemingway's third wife.
And a professionally superior journalist.
In fact, she was one of the best war correspondents of the last century, telling stories of conflicts for readers of Collier's from  Spain, London, Finland, and China.

In addition to being the only woman to land in Normandy on D-Day she was the first reporter to land, period. 

Here's Amusing Planet:

On the eve of the Normandy landings in June 1944, there were over a thousand war correspondents all over Europe reporting back to the millions of British and Americans back home. A handful of these journalists and photographers were also women. Unfortunately, the government had prohibited women from going to the front lines, so while these women correspondents could cover stories from the war zone, they could not go in with the troops.
Understandably, many female war correspondents were not happy with the ban.
“It is necessary that I report on this war," wrote Martha Ellis Gellhorn in an angry letter to military authorities. “I do not feel there is any need to beg as a favour for the right to serve as the eyes for millions of people in America who are desperately in need of seeing, but cannot see for themselves.”
Martha Ellis Gellhorn was an American war correspondent for the Collier’s magazine. Some of you may know her as the third wife of Ernest Hemingway, but her accomplishments as a journalist far outshine her brief marriage to the novelist.

Gellhorn began her career as a journalist during the Great Depression, working as a Field Investigator for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) created by Franklin D. Roosevelt to report on the impact of the Depression on the country. Later, she travelled to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War in 1937. During this period she met Ernest Hemingway, who was also in Spain as a correspondent. They married in 1940, she becoming Hemingway’s third wife, and Hemingway becoming Gellhorn’s second husband.

Gellhorn and Hemingway’s marriage was troubled from the start. Hemingway refused to let go off his second wife even when both of them were seeing each other, and Gellhorn’s long absences during her reporting assignments irritated Hemingway. When D-Day approached, their marriage was already dead in the water. To get even with Gellhorn, Hemingway got himself accredited as the correspondent for Colliers, the magazine Gellhorn worked for, blocking any chance Gellhorn might have of getting to the front lines.
But Martha Gellhorn was not ready to bow out....


re: Hemingway's expenses claim, we intro'd with "Journalism, especially at the top of the heap, used to be very profitable."